Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Training: I’ve taught bird care / training techniques
Posted July 6, 2013
I've worked with two miniature dachshunds in my life - both of which have been overly positive experiences. As with most purebreeds, they have their issues, but I've found them to be incredibly delightful to be around!
Appearance: Long dogs with short legs, with either short, wirey, or long fur. They have floppy ears and long tails. They are iconic dachshunds, only they are smaller than the regular dachshund!
Temperament: Slightly obsessive dogs, but I've found they have more bark than their bite. I have seen two mini dachshunds who are scaredy cats if put to the test, and one who is all bravado and barks. In my experience, they are more apt to cower in fear of something scary rather than turn and bite.
Trainability: They are eager to please, but slightly stubborn and scared, so they seem to take longer to learn tricks, and can take longer to perform.
Overall activity level: I've found Dachshunds to be very active dogs. The two dachshunds I'm basing my critique off of were ball-obsessed dogs, and could run until they were exhausted to get their ball.
Barks a lot: I think mini dachshunds suffer from "small dog syndrome" - the smaller they are, the braver they act in the face of danger. Both dogs I've worked with were barkers.
Health/vigor: Dachshunds are good when they are good. However, there is that one big, glaring danger that is like a ticking time bomb in dogs like this - their back. The first dog whom i cared for for years - Penelope - had to be put to sleep after she slipped a disk and became paralyzed. Always keep their back in mind when getting involved in such activities, and you might want to find a pet chiropractor while your dog's health is still good.
Friendly: I've only seen these dogs be friendly and involved with other animals. I can think of two families that had this dog around small children. Just be sure they know the danger to the dogs back!
Watch/Guard dog ability: ...Anyone who says, "I think a miniature ANYTHING would make the best guard dog for me" must be guarding a doll house. Who does that? That being said, these dogs can be barkers, so it gives them good credibility in the watchdog status.
Easy to groom: If you have a long hair dog, then you'll need to adhere him to regular brushing. Short hair dogs, not so much.
Low Cost to Own: Back problems aside, I've seen a miniature dachshund with severe allergies. The back problems alone can make vet bills astronomical!
Overall, mini dachshunds are incredibly cute, incredibly friendly, and in some ways, incredibly fragile. But they are really awesome dogs, and if you can watch out for the back, you might find yourself with a dog that will forever stay in your heart.